When news came a few days ago that the 5th Circuit Court had vacated Ezekiel Elliott’s injunction against the NFL, it sounded like he was now suspended. That’s how it was reported throughout football media. However, new information over the last 24 hours has clarified Zeke’s actual current status.
Unfortunately, few of us who cover football are qualified to make sense of some of the legal jargon being used in these posts. Here’s a great example:
Because PI has been vacated and mandate issued, NFL can suspend #Zeke now. What would change that is a recall of the mandate or a SDNY TRO.
Huh? What? Could someone please explain that for us?
In English, Ezekiel Elliott remains eligible to play at least until petition for rehearing is filed and resolved.
Got it! Thanks!
So, contrary to what we were hearing on Thursday and Friday, Elliott is NOT suspended at the moment and would be eligible to play the 49ers in Week 7. That is, of course, assuming the 5th Circuit doesn’t make their final determination sometime this week.
Even if the court finally dismisses Zeke’s case, he and the NFLPA still have moves to make. All this means now is that the case would move from Texas to New York as they continue to sue the league for mishandling Elliott’s disciplinary process and, therefore, violating the inherent trust of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The interesting thing here is how quickly things would have to move between two different courts, in two different states, for Zeke to potentially avoid missing a game. Let’s say the 5th Circuit throws his case out next Thursday; is there time for Elliott and the union to seek a new injunction in New York before the 49ers game?
We could be looking at a scenario where Zeke is indeed suspended for a game and then gets his new injunction. It all depends on how quickly the courts move. Given the circumstances and high-profile parties involved, things do move faster than they would for you and me.
As we keep saying, this a “wait and see” story that is far from over. Most predicted that the 5th Circuit would back up Judge Mazzant’s ruling, so now it’s become even more unpredictable. The intrigue, uncertainty, and frustration are going to stick around for some time.